Community Leader Implicates Ascendant Copper in Death Threats

Polibio Perez, president of the Community Development Council in Intag, asked the District Attorney of Imbabura Province that Ascendant Copper Corporation employees be investigated in conjunction to the death threats he has received during the past few months.

Perez suspects that the death threats came from Jorge Mantilla, CEO of Falericorp, a company contracted by Ascendant Copper Corporation in 2006, and Fernando Alba, also believed to be presently working for Falericorp. Alba and Mantilla have been seen in the Intag area in the past few weeks.

In his charges presented to Imbabura’s Attorney General, Perez also mentions that during the December 2006 violence against local communities, and afterwards, that he received several death threats and felt unusually threatened. He presented as proof video and photographic evidence of the violence created by the so-called paramilitary force allegedly working under the guidance of Falericorp and Alba.

In the legal denouncement Perez charged that at one time Alba threatened him by saying: "If you continue your opposition to mining we are going to have to kill you."

Perez, together with his lawyer Edgar Merlo, asked that the authorities investigate not only the persons named in the lawsuit, but that the investigation includes all company employees from Falericorp and Ascendant Copper.